Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Height: 6-4

Weight: 215

Class: Junior

D.O.B.: 1/18/99

Statistical Profile: There were flashes of brilliance during Higgins’ 17-catch, 2-TD freshman year that got people excited, but full-time work wouldn’t come until 2018. Over Higgins’ final two seasons at Clemson he grabbed 59 passes each year for 25 total touchdowns, going over 1,100 yards as a junior.

Scouting Higgins: Higgins isn’t a difficult evaluation, but he could be a tough valuation depending on how your NFL team operates. He’s at his best in the air, sky-scraping for high throws with his impressive length and strong hands. Higgins’ body control is among the best in the class, and it shows at all areas of the field – along the sideline, in the end zone, and vertically between the numbers.

While Higgins gobbles up contested catches at an outstanding rate, he also struggles to separate from man coverage, especially at the line of scrimmage. Releases are a component of wide receiver play that can definitely improve, but Higgins really struggled to win with his feet or with his hands off the snap. Press coverage often got hands on him, slowing his release and preventing him from gaining position vertically.

Higgins can win down the field, but he’s not a burner, and doesn’t have the acceleration to run by cornerbacks in an instant. Most of his damage down the field will be done in tight windows with his ability to play above-the-rim at a high level. Something he’ll have to improve on is consistently using his size and strength to gain optimal position on cornerbacks in all contested situations, especially after posting a 31-inch vertical at his pro day that will have teams questioning how well his high-point abilities will translate to the next level.

There’s some stiffness to Higgins as a mover, but he does a nice job of selling deception in his route breaks against off coverage, getting his feet, eyes and hips angled one way to manipulate defenders before snapping off in another direction. He doesn’t have the suddenness to break away from man coverage on every rep however, and his issues with getting off early contact can continue at the top of his route as well.

Most of the time YAC receivers are great athletes in space, but Higgins is more creative and physical than anything else. He has really good contact balance to stay up through some pretty square hits, and he runs with a purpose when the ball is in his hands. Higgins mentality and strength with the ball in his hands are traits that will allow him to be more than just a jump ball guy, but he doesn’t have the breakaway speed to be the scoring threat other YAC receivers are.

I just don’t see sudden or explosive movements in routes and releases for me to trust that Higgins is going to be open consistently, against all matchups and coverage schemes in the NFL. On tape here are clear ways he can win as a receiver, both in the air and with the ball in his hands, but if you struggle to separate and don’t have elite speed, you better physically beat the heck out of defensive backs and show some extreme nuance to your routes/releases. For all the things that are easy to get excited about with Higgins, his limitations in those areas would keep me from drafting him in the range he’s currently being projected, especially after a dismal pro day performance.

Bucs Fit: Higgins fits the physical profile the Bucs tend to gravitate towards at receiver, but they would be far better served finding a weapon that would add something more unique to their passing attack than Higgins. His YAC ability would be welcome in Tampa, as would his ability to play all three receiver spots, but I think there are even better receivers with the ball in their hands and certainly better downfield threats in this class, making Higgins a little redundant in Tampa Bay.

Grade: 3rd Round

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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BucRy
1 year ago

Wouldn’t mind getting him in the 3rd round if he fell that far. We sure as hell need some depth at receiver.

magoobee
1 year ago

Why are you showing Higgins, he is not worth pick 14 and will not be around at 47?

Realistic WRs that would be perfect for the Bucs:
James Proche WR SMU (will be available at 117 and probably 139 – Great Hands besides WR also PR)
Lynn Bowden WR Kentucky (will be available at 117 and probably 139 (but seems to be moving up he board) – Converted QB – poor man’s Edelman)
Antonio Gibson WR Memphis (should be available at 161 – could be slot receiver or 3rd down RB – poor man’s James White) – Love this guy.

SaskBucs
1 year ago

Agreed Magoobee, this isn’t a guy who I think should be on the first 2 round radar for the Bucs … probably no WR should be.

I love the weekend content and what you have brought to Pewter Report Jon, just wish some of these draft profiles were focused elsewhere. I would like to see write ups on potential 2nd round IOL and DL/DE… Blacklock, Gallimore, Okwara, Uche etc.

Small gripe, keep up the good work.

DrT1066
1 year ago

Given the box other needs I don’t see a receiver being in the mix until the fourth or fifth rounds. Just my opinion

DrT1066
1 year ago

Poops Bucs not box😜

seat26
1 year ago

This is a good receiver class. I am sure Bucs will pick up one.

Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

Higgins might sneak into the 2nd round to be honest. Not sure why he was being mocked to go into the early first round but I guess that is possible?

Either way this is a deep WR draft and coming away with another WR to add to the current WR corps would be huge.